Prince of Egypt
(By Gerry Wang)

(Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Patrick Stewart, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum)
Gerry Wang

_____Wow. That one word summarizes my entire reaction to the PRINCE OF EGYPT. Well, "wow" and "Oh my God!" But after seeing this movie, we'll be a little more hesitant to take God's name in vain because boy, He sure knows how to inflict His will.

_____Watching the PRINCE OF EGYPT was an experience, not just a typical movie outing. Therefore I will recount my entire evening endeavor, so you can see how profound an effect this epic masterpiece had on me.

_____It was a normal dinner & movie type of ordeal. It was my birthday, so I got all dressed up and went to a nice French restaurant called Cafe Beaujoulais. Here is my J. Peterman rant, which will describe my wardrobe and setting:

_____You are cold. The wind gusts around your temples, but you squint and ignore it. As you walk down the sidewalk, an exotic ambience fills the atmosphere. The cold vanishes. You have arrived at your quaint French cafe. You marvel at its chic. You glance down and notice your London Fog trench coat. Yes. The cashmere lining, which you have measured at approximately 5 pounds has done its job. Your face fills with warmth as you enter the cafe. You remove your London Fog trench coat and expose your lightly tanned Yves St. Laurent dress shirt. On top is a grey window pane Banana Republic vest. You look expensive. But little do people know, it was very cheap to assemble..........


_____Ok, ok. No more rant. I apologize. I am slightly buzzed. Heh heh. Don't even get me started talking like a Jedi Master.....

_____Back to my dinner. This sets up my entire mood for watching the movie. I had escargot, which are snails, and that wasn't too pleasant. I suppose eating mollusks is an acquired taste. So be it. Then I had baked rabbit. It literally tasted like chicken. But as I thought of what I was eating, I thought to myself, "Trix are for kids!" and I was immediately repulsed by the prospect of eating a bunny. It didn't help that my other guest(s) was/were eating shit like lamb. Monsters!

_____Anyways, dinner was very expensive. I didn't pay, but damn I don't like overpaying for food. If you think about it, it is such a waste of money. You can cook better food at home cheaper if you just spend some time learning recipes. That's why I watch Martha Stewart every day. That woman is a genius. Oh gosh, my head hurts. I can't have a single straight thought.

_____You know what? I will go to sleep now and finish this review tomorrow. Let this be a lesson to you young uns. Don't drink and type coherent things. It's damn near impossible. Good night. ZZZZZZ

PRINCE OF EGYPT Review (cont.)

_____I get to the theater half an hour early. I relieve my yearning to deposit liquid waste. But I am still too early. I refuse to purchase overpriced concessions. Who in their right mind would pay 3.50 for a medium watered-down beverage?? It's preposterous, I say. I was in a foul mood, as you can see. I was dressed uncomfortably, dinner was only mediocre, plus it was raining. But the one thing that really ticked me off was that no one in my party wanted to watch the PRINCE OF EGYPT. They wanted to watch crud like PSYCHO. Since it is my birthday, I exercise the Executive Privilege of Movie Watching and force everyone to watch the PRINCE OF EGYPT. Heh heh.

"It's my party
I could cry if I want to
Cry if I want to x2
You would cry too if it happened to you!!!"

_____--- Oldies song

_____I am still hammered. Wait a little while. I will sober up.

_____Back to the movie theater. Since we are so early, we catch a little bit of YOU'VE GOT MAIL on a 60 ft. screen. This wasn't such a good thing, because we sat at the side, and it distorted Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks' faces so much that they resembled Sloth in GOONIES. Quasimodo too. Sick. I used to think Meg Ryan was a cutie, but after seeing her face all juxtaposed, she gets bumped down a few notches.

_____We finally get to the PRINCE OF EGYPT. I am very hyped up. Not only did I want to see this movie real bad, I also wanted to prove to the people in my party that this movie really wasn't a friggin remake of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Idiots, I swear.

_____The movie starts. I instantly hushed everybody's stupid ass up. The trailers show, but they were all lame except for Disney's TARZAN. Wow, the animation looks good. 3D/2D blending. Tarzan zips through the trees at a rapid pace and fights every sort of predatorial animal you can think of. Coooooool. TARZAN comes out Summer 1999, I think.

_____And now............ the PRINCE OF EGYPT.

_____Nothing you have ever seen will prepare you for what you see in the PRINCE OF EGYPT. You will forget that you are watching a cartoon. It will feel like you are just watching a regular movie, except that this one is absolutely extraordinary. The special effects will make your jaw hit the urine-soaked floor. The emotion will crush your rib cage. The music will induce tears to flow from your tear sacs. The PRINCE OF EGYPT was that powerful.

_____I'm sure you are all familiar with the tale of Moses leading the Hebrews from Egypt. I wasn't, because I'm a heathen bastard. So for all you other heretics and pagans, I will recap that tale for you a little later on. I will now break down the PRINCE OF EGYPT, so I can specify why this movie deservese an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

CHARACTERS: The animators did an excellent job with all of their characters' emotions. We truly believe these people are alive, that they feel the same emotion as we do.

* Moses- We particularly sympathize w/ Moses, a powerful character in terms of conveying his anguish and agony at the decisions he has to make. When he breaks down and sobs at the prospect of his task. We feel his bewilderment when God speaks to him. We feel his pain at separating from his brother. Excellently voiced by Val Kilmer.

* Ramses- Moses' brother starts off as a regular sibling rival, that eventually becomes the villain of the movie as he becomes Pharoah of Egypt. Ralph Fiennes does an excellent portrayal of a man torn between love for his brother and the duty to continue his family dynasty and be a great ruler to his people.

* GOD- He has a MIGHTY presence in this film. We see that He is a wrathful and vengeful God who demands obedience and faith. God was originally intended to have synthesized voice that was androgynous, that is, w/o a sex, but it ended up sounding like Hal from 2001: Space Odyssey, so Val Kilmer stepped in again. I woulda liked to see James Earl Jones do his booming voice as God. Val Kilmer's God sounded too Mr. Rodgers-ish. But nevertheless, we feel the Almighty. His force courses throughout the entire movie.

SPECIAL EFFECTS: The special effects in the PRINCE OF EGYPT were absolutely motherfreakin spectacular. It really reminded me of the Japanese anime special effects. Except there are no robots and the special effects here are more polished. Pay attention particularly to the miracles done by God. Such as the plague visiting Egypt and smiting all first borns. The burning bush revealing God to Moses. The chariot race. The Nile turning into blood.....But above all, the majestic Parting of the Red Sea scene, which will absolutely astonish you with its brilliant animation and power. It really looks like water. I was petrified in my seat.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: When you see the animation in this movie, you will just be like "Holy Shit!" Because it looks like more effort was put into this movie that any of Disney's past lamo products. Just look at the opening scene of the billowing clouds and you'll know. Look at the landmarks-- the pyramids, temples, and statues of Egypt. Look at how the Nile flows. You can almost reach down and feel the water. It is breathtaking. The animators were inspired by Monet and other Impressionist painters, and we can see their influence on this film. It gives the PRINCE OF EGYPT a surreal feel, kinda like we're in another universe. Ancient Egypt never looked more beautiful or gorgeous. It looks..........alive.......

EPIC PLOT: The story of redemption and the genesis of the Christian faith is one we all should know. Regardless of whether it is really true or not. I don't want to get into that. People get very sensitive regarding it. But the message of obeying God is what we all will take out of watching the PRINCE OF EGYPT, no matter what our religious beliefs are. This is the tale of Moses, a Hebrew who was adopted by the Royal Family of the Pharoah of Egypt. The Hebrews have long been persecuted and enslaved by the Egyptians. Moses and Ramses, the his brother and also the future Pharaoh have a special bond. They truly love each other as brothers. However, when Moses learns his heritage is really of the slave people, he feels an obligation to end the oppression. But he is reluctant. It was when God speaks to Moses that Moses finally realized his destiny, and the rest is history. This story of finding inner strength and self-sacrifice is truly is the greatest story ever told.

MUSIC: Right from the start we can tell the music in the PRINCE OF EGYPT is special. It starts w/ "The River" or something like that, but the point is that it is sung by Moses' birth mother, and she is abandoning her son to let him escape the persecution of the Egyptians. The song is very heart-rendering. When Moses' mother cries, so do we. We feel her loss. At the end, "When You Believe" is sung, as the Hebrews are triumphant in their Exodus from Egypt, and part of the song is sung in Hebrew. So there is an authentic feel of jubilation as well feel the same exultation as the freed slaves. Stephen Schwartz and Hans Zimmer (I think) have wrapped up another Oscar for their score and songs.

GOING AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM: For those of you who think this is just another stupid Disney film, you are wrong.

* There are no furry, cuddly, talking animals. Damn those stupid furry animals are so annoying. Like those little creatures in TEST-I-CLEES. Or better known as HERCULES.

* There is more tragedy and emotional wollop in Dreamworks' the PRINCE OF EGYPT. They never tone anything down like how Disney does. Quasimodo dies in the in Hugo's book. In THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, that ogre lives happily ever after. Blasphemous, yet formulaic for Disney. In the PRINCE OF EGYPT, there is aplenty of death. Moses himself pushes a Egyptian slave driver off a 400-ft high platform to his crunchy death. Babies are killed by the plague. Soldiers are drowned. Hebrew slaves are whipped until scarred. This is a tragic movie with a sensitive subject, and we must applaud Jeffrey Katzenberg for having the balls to do an adult animated motion picture.

* Dreamworks also didn't market this movie like crazy. There are no Moses Happy Meals. No PRINCE OF EGYPT Halloween masks. No PRINCE OF EGYPT condoms. Nothing like how Disney markets their movies. Look at all this A BUG'S LIFE merchandise. C'mon, you're telling me a 3 year old would want a praying mantis for Christmas? Yet people buy it, and HUUUUGE revenues are made. Dreamworks is looking at a potential financial loss with this movie.

* I must also send a plea out to all you filmgoers. I really, really resent Disney's cutthroat tactics. They purposefully lured people to watch A BUG'S LIFE again by packaging MIGHTY JOE YOUNG for free with it, in addition to new outtakes from A BUG'S LIFE. Don't let Disney's squish the competition so easily. It has a monopoly on the animated film market, and we all know that ain't good news. Disney tried to kill Fox's ANASTASIA by doing something retarded like re-releasing LITTLE MERMAID. And it partially worked. Don't let this happen to PRINCE OF EGYPT. It is too important a movie to bomb.

_____This is getting long, so I will now conclude my monumental review. I want to urge all you people out there to watch the PRINCE OF EGYPT. Not only is its story one that should be a part of our lives, it represents the next step in animation. It is the forerunner of mixing traditional animation and computer genereated graphics to produce a solid, congruous epic. It raises the bar of standards. Competition for Disney will only force it to churn out better products, and this is good for all of us consumers. Makes sense right? So go watch PRINCE OF EGYPT and drag all the young kids to it. At the scarier scenes, explain to them what God's intentions are. Then, after the movie, sit down and have a discussion about what you all learned. Talk about God's miracles..... You will believe.................

Chick-o-meter: (ABOLISHED)

*See 9/29/'98 video pick of the week #1 for scale info